Handling Your Teen - Kadhiravan
Lee Justin Rondina
The teenage years are called to be the most vibrant years in one’s life but also comprises of many problematic situations, thus is usually referred to as the phase of “storm and stress”. Aggression, depression, overconfidence, dynamism, enthusiasm, curiousity, sexuality, and countless other things start to appear, bud, grow, or develop in different teens or adolescents in many different ways. With so many emotional, social, and psychological vulnerabilities and developments a teenager usually has, it can be seemingly difficult for most parents to be able to handle or manage them.
Like adults facing many life difficulties in their adult lives, teenagers also face a lot problems even in their early years. Academic issues, negative body images, anxiety, desensitization, communication issues, and depression are just to name a small fraction of all those problems. There also countless psychosocial issues a person undergoes in his/her teenage years such as behavioral dysfunctions, conduct disorders, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), the classic bullying, suicidal ideation and a lot more others. As such, many of our teenagers nowadays are put to so much stress and pressure which cause even more vulnerabilities to an already extremely delicate figure.
A variety of many factors pull the strings behind these issues, may it be personal, school-related, familial, and/or social factors. Personal factors may include acculturative stress, sensation seeking, cognitive deficits, chronic illnesses, hyperactivity and/or attention deficit disorders, mental and physical health issues, communication issues, etc. The school-related factors may include school bullying, lack of connection to the school culture and environment, poor academic support, competing demands on time, etc. Some of the family-related factors include familial conflicts, parental use of corporal punishment, lack of parental monitoring, domestic violences, and other forms of family traumas. Finally, the social factors may include exposure to deviant peers, peer pressure, poverty, racial prejudice, lack of social bonding, etc. All these and many other factors affect teens in different ways causing the many teenage issues we know today.
So how do we prevent or mitigate these countless problems or issues of a teenager? Well, like how you respect an adult or elder, respect your teens too! Give them a chance to establish their own identities while allowing to voice their inner feelings too. Lend an ear to listen to these feelings and show belief and faith in their abilities as they reach their own goals. As parents, guide and support them especially when they make mistakes. Let them feel guilty for their own actions and try to be open and understanding when talking with them. Decide disciplinary rules in advance that won’t suffocate teens, but that would rather help them grow and develop positive self-images.
To conclude always remember this seven rules of thumb when handling teens. First and most important is to always show them your love. Then minimize the pressure put on to them. Third, encourage cybersafety especially in these modern times of our contemporary world. Fourth, set the limits but avoid ultimatums while trying to be reasonable and flexible at all times. Fifth, prioritize rules. Practice consistence with these rules but of course, try to have occasional exception depending on the situation itself. Sixth, enforce consequences but encourage the teens to suggest them. Finally, seventh but extremely important, always set a postive example.
Teens are incredibly fragile. But a bit of love, care, and support goes a long way for them.